Today, consumers want solutions and deliveries immediately. In a cut throat world like this, time management and fast delivery means survival. Businesses, therefore, create and conduct strategies with incredible immediateness.
So, if you ever browse a company’s website chances are likely that a chatbot will entertain your requests. It will greet you with a friendly, “Hello there! How can I help you today?” and take the conversation forward.
Businesses need to equip their workforce and technology platforms with all the information necessary. Not only to serve customers but also to predict what they want or need.
Predictions are based on analyzing a huge amount of data. This is where AI and ML can change the game in no time. Of course, robots are not going to take over business delivery and customer service. Because at the end of the day, we will need analysts to interpret the analyzed data and come to conclusions to boost business.
And any business function that works and collects large amounts of data and is reliant on making quick, real-time decisions, it will need intelligent bots fused with AI!
Still want to ask, “Why do we need chatbots?”. Here’s how it goes..
Chatbots improve the conversion rate and workflow in many areas of a growing company.
Support and Customer Service
Many support questions can be easily answered with a chatbot. Chatbots allow live support people to handle difficult questions that require a human touch. More importantly, the user is immediately satisfied by getting an answer to their question 24X7. If a question is too difficult for the chatbot to answer, the bot can switch the user to a live chat with a human or transfer the user to a live phone call. A virtual assistant chatbot answers these questions in a conversational way, and the user’s questions are collected and evaluated to improve your support department.
The sales process for any product or service can be, in fact is, complex. From the prospect’s view, they want to know if the product or service will match their use case and price. From the company’s viewpoint, the sales person wants to qualify the prospect to understand if the prospect’s use case and budget are a good match for their product or service. Good lead generation chatbots ask questions to fill out a traditional form in a conversational way then send the lead to the companies CRM.
To know what your customers are thinking, you must ask them questions. A survey is a useful tool for this type of data collection. You can use it inside a chatbot to engage users by asking questions in a conversational way such that the user does not know they are part of a survey. The user responds to the questions and the response is collected and stored to reveal new information about user preferences and behavior. The data collected from a survey chatbot is useful for future marketing and sales campaigns.
Please note. This process is not to deceive the customer but to collect information that they readily want to provide. Businesses can use this customer information to improve the customer experience.
There are two conversion funnels on an e-commerce site. They are:
- Home page, category page, product page and cart
- Cart, checkout, order completed
Both of these conversion funnels have areas with high drop rates where users leave the site. In the first funnel, the user may have questions about the product. This process is solved with an e-commerce chatbot directing the user to a product quickly, as well as up-selling other products that go along with it. Over time, the bot can track what was purchased in the past and provide suggestions that coincide with the user’s likes and desires. In the second funnel, the user may have questions about taxes, shipping, coupons, return policy, etc.
Ecommerce sites have higher conversion rates when chatbots are answering questions and overcoming obstacles.
Overall website conversion rate is improved because the user experience is more engaging and helpful than a list of pages on a website. A chatbot works like a store employee who comes up to you at the store and offers assistance.
As more and more websites start using chatbots, your customers and prospects will expect a certain level of service from a site and chatbot. This is especially true because the number of mobile users is still increasing and viewing large sites on a phone is difficult. The concept of clicking multiple pages on a site to find information compared to asking a question and immediately getting an answer will soon be outdated.
By 2020, 88% of brands will have implemented automation technologies in sales, marketing and customer service.
Live Chat vs Chatbots
Live chat still has its place, but there is a difference. Live chat is often the default when the chatbot cannot answer the user’s question. The main difference between live chat and a chatbot-only system is that live chat requires a person with all the company’s knowledge to be online 24 / 7. Another difference is that studies show users trust chatbots more than live chat. Users are more open and they answer more questions with a chatbot. The key is to let the user know they are talking to a chatbot. There are two reasons to notify the user about the chatbot.
- The user won’t feel they are under pressure to buy something, and
- They can leave the conversation and not feel guilty about offending the bot.
Chatbots and the Workforce
There are many estimates about how chatbots will affect the workforce. Some of these estimates are pure speculation. I predict that chatbots will not replace a human’s job, but will improve the overall customer service experience. When human sales and support handle higher level questions, it means the humans are focusing more on sales and less on pre-qualifying.
Chatbots are an Alternative Content Delivery System
How often do you get an email that you never open? You read the subject line and delete the message without opening it. Over 97% of emails are treated this way. In contrast, how often do you open a Facebook Messenger notification? The open rate is huge compared to email. The average MailChimp email campaign has a 10% open rate and a 2% conversion rate where the user clicks through to the website. A Facebook Messenger notification has a 1,400% engagement rate, which means a significant number of users open a Messenger notification, click the link inside the message, and visit the company’s website.
I remember my first email campaign in 1994 had a 40% open rate! I was ecstatic! However, although social messaging has a high conversion rate now, it will decrease over time as users get hit with more spam. Right now, every message is from a trusted friend and very few messages are solicitations. Although the numbers look great now, they will normalize over time. That said, I still think the conversion rate will be better than email for the very fact that you can correspond in real time, which email cannot do.
A survey via a chatbot showed 3X more conversion than over email.
45.8% would rather contact a business through messaging than email.
Why does a chatbot have a higher click-through rate than email? Here are some theories:
- That red icon on your Facebook Messenger app will sit there until you open it, which means it’s difficult to ignore.
- People associate email with junk or spam, which means they are in the habit of deleting email without opening it.
- There are very few brands on Messenger, which means a message is likely from someone you know. People open messages from people they know.
- It takes a millisecond to open a Facebook Messenger notification, which is much faster than opening an email.
- It only takes two finger taps to click through a Messenger notification, whereas email requires a lot more navigation steps.
Facebook Messenger is becoming one of the best alternative content delivery systems out there, which is something marketing folks have been searching for as a replacement for email. Email is still a strong marketing tool, but it is declining as email systems become smarter. For example, Google’s Gmail automatically removes email or routes it to spam, and it moves email to different buckets such as social, promotions or updates. When a Gmail user moves a message from one bucket to another, the system remembers that action and repeats it in the future.
One thing to keep in mind is not everyone uses Facebook, and those that do use it don’t necessarily use Facebook Messenger. The number of users on Facebook may not be using the network on a daily basis and may not be using Messenger at all.
What industries are using chatbots?
Every industry will benefit from a chatbot. Some of the larger industries are already spending a huge amount of resources to add chatbots to their websites and social platforms. For example, Amazon has over 1000 engineers working on chatbots, artificial intelligence and machine learning for all of their services. The chart below shows some of the major industries and their projected growth.
This does not mean you have to spend a lot of money on a chatbot. A simple chatbot can be built for a site for $30 a month, or a complete chatbot system with maintenance for $500 a month. Over time as you collect data, you can expand on the intelligence of the bot to answer more questions or generate different types of leads and sales.
Chatbots are promising. Many consumers are already using them, and many more would use them if they were available. Chatbots have been proven to reduce wait times, increase engagement, and they are definitely on their way to being as valuable a communication channel as email and phone calls.
Tip: You must clearly define the goals of a chatbot and start small. When starting out, companies shouldn’t expect their first chatbot to do everything at once. Start with really clear goals such as taking a booking or handling a simple customer query. This will gently introduce a chatbot to a company’s customer base and allow the company to test out the bot without exposing it to too much risk and ruining a relationship.
So yes, a chatbot could really help your business grow and flourish. The real questions are:
- How sophisticated a chatbot will you need?
- How well will it fit with your existing communication channels and messaging?
- How will your customers respond to it?
At Engati, we will help you figure out the most suitable chatbot solutions for your business.
For more information, please visit the Engati website!
Why have chatbots become so popular lately?
Chatbots improve the conversion rate and workflow in many areas of a company.
What are chatbots and what benefits do they have?
Any business function, which works and collects large amounts of data, and is reliant on making quick, real-time decisions – needs intelligent BOTS (fused with AI).